I feel that above all I am a potter who responds primarily to materials and processes the exploration of which pushes my work forward. My involvement with raku developed because of a need to escape from limitations placed upon me by lustre techniques I previously used, coupled with a desire to use real fire and become more involved with the processes of firing. The transition was made easier as I saw raku as a form of matt, coloured lustre, not a complete break to my earlier work but a compliment to it.
An interest in ceramic history also informs my work although it may not be immediately apparent, as the influence is often subliminal. The forms of much of my work refer to pieces from prehistory, especially the Bronze Age, and have developed from an ancient pot seen in a museum many years ago. I also have a collection of shards found in gardens and fields which span a period from Roman to the 19th century and the marks left by the potters are so eloquent - we leave the same marks on our own work today - it is like a language left by potters to be read by potters.
I hope to add a few more words to the vocabulary.
Raku. Vessels and dishes using copper-matt surfaces or lustre decorated terra sigillata.
Copper can yield amazing colours in raku from rich reds and oranges to electric blues and golds. The colour is notoriously difficult to achieve in a consistent manner and relies on very close control of temperature and reduction. My pots are fired to around 1040c - 1060c - quite high for raku and then smoked on a bred of sawdust under controlled conditions.
I apply resinate lustres to the surface of a pre-fired terra sigillatta surface using a variety of methods, rubber stamps, brushes resists etc. These are then fired in a raku kiln and smoked in order to achieve a rich black background to enhance and modify the colour of the lustre.
My wife, Jude, and I are in the process of developing a range of sundials decorated with the lustre techniques developed for my raku pots.
Current Work Availability:
St Ives Ceramics
Rufford Craft Centre
Mid Cornwall Gallery
Higher Street Gallery, Dartmouth
Also many of the major ceramic shows around the country.
I run two Raku workshops here in Derbyshire, details of which are on my website, or on the Courses page of Studiopottery.co.uk
I am available for workshops and demo's.
Bisque firing to 920c electric kiln. Raku fired anywhere between 1060c (Copper Matt) and 620c (Lustre).
I use mainly ST Material (Commercial Clays) or B17C (Valentines).
1969-71 Foundation Course, Chesterfield College of Art
1971-74 The Polytechnic, Wolverhampton
1974 Established first workshop at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire
1976-79 Part-time teaching HM Prison, Sudbury
1980-82 Part-time teaching (1 day) on the Higher Diploma Course, Derbyshire College of Higher Education
1980 Second workshop established at Wheatsheaf House, Matlock, continuing the production of tableware. Olsen wood kiln constructed.
1982 Commenced research and development of basalt and porcelain lustreware.
1983 Part-time teaching GAD Course, Granville College of Higher Education
1984 Elected Fellow of Craft Potters Association.
1987 Appointed Craftsman in Residence at Repton School, Derbyshire.
1991 Began research and development of present range of fumed raku ceramics.
1992 Invited to join Council of Craft Potters Association in order to plan and organise Earth & Fire at Rufford Country Park, Nottinghamshire
1994 Elected to the Council and appointed publicity officer for the Craft Potters Association. Co-organiser; Earth & Fire, Rufford 1994.
1997 Re-elected to Council of CP A. Co-organising Earth & Fire, Rufford and Oxford Fair.
1997 Moved workshop to present address at West End Gallery - selling fine pots by ceramic contemporaries.
1998 Joined Wirksworth Festival. Co-ordinator, Wirksworth Art & Architecture Trail.
1999 Appointed D~5, Art Department, Repton School.
2003 -2004 Seminar Leader, Scanform Ceramics School, Norway
1999 - 2006 Visiting lecturer glas & keramikskolen, Bornholm, Denmark.
A Caiger Smith "Lustreware"
D Wensley "Pottery, a Manual of Techniques" Crowood 1989
J Gibson. Pottery Decoration" A & C Black, 1987
M Clinton ""Lustres", Batsford, 1991
G Flight "Ceramics Manual" Collins, 1990
"Potters" 8th Edition CR Publications
"Potters" 9th Edition CR Publications
"Potters" 10th Edition CR Publications
"Potters" 11th Edition CR Publications
"Potters" 12th Edition CR Publications
The Ceramic Book 2006
P Scott "Ceramics and Print" A & C Black, 1994
P Beard "Resists" A & C Black 1994
D. Howard Jones "Raku"
J & F Hamer "A Potters Dictionary"
Tim Andrews "Raku" A & C Black 2005
Mathias Osterman "The Ceramic Surface" A & C Black 2002
John Mathieson "Raku" A & C Black 2002
Ceramic Review Issue 154 (July/August 1995) - Article on copper matt fuming.
1982 Yew Tree Gallery, Derbyshire
Rufford Craft Centre, Nottingham
Stoke on Trent City Museum and Art Gallery
1984 Marie Jordan Gallery, Wakefield
David Canter Memorial Exhibition, Craft Potters Shop, London
1985 New Members Exhibition, Craft Potters Shop, London
Long Street Gallery, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Shades of Blue Exhibition, Craft Potters Shop, London Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames
Green College, Oxford
1986 Ridware Arts Centre, Staffordshire
In the Pink Exhibition, Craft Potters Shop, London
1988 Grape Lane Gallery, York
Craft Potters Shop, Rufford, Nottinghamshire Christmas Exhibition, Candover Gallery
1989 Anniversary Exhibition, Candover Gallery Christmas Exhibition, Candover Gallery
Showcase Exhibition, Craft Potters Shop, London
1990 Hart Gallery, N Nottinghamshire
Opus 1, London
Craft Potters Association, Barcelona
1991 House of Commons, Westminster Bakers Dozen, Roundhouse, Tutbury Broughton Gallery, Lancashire
1992 - 2000 Attended many Potters' Fairs both in this country and abroad France/Germany/ Austria/Holland.
1993 Hugo Barclay, Brighton
Pam Shoenburg Gallery, Colchester Gallery
1994 Texel, Holland
Victoria & Albert Museum, London - Craft Potters Group Show
1995 Awarded First Prize at Gmunden Potters' Fair, Austria.
Jim Robisons Gallery
Awarded First Prize at Ardenne Ceramic Biennial, Ardenne, Belgium
2000 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
1998/9/2002 Art in Action
1992-1997 Milsbeek Fair, Holland
1995-2004 Diessen Fair, Bavaria
1997-2000 Baden Baden Fair, Germany
1995-2004 Gmunden Fair, Austria
1996-2006 Art de Feu, France (Exhibiting Member)
2001 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
C2H2, Dinant, Belgium
Lemon Street Gallery
2002 Tim Andrews Gallery, Exeter
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Lustre. Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham
2003 Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny
2004 Keramiek Museum, Tegelen, Holland
2005 Tim Andrews Gallery, Exeter
2006 Paradis Keramik, Bornholm, Denmark.
2006 Tim Andrews Gallery, Exeter